I'm going to be replacing my strings for the first time, and i'm looking at ernie ball strings at musiciansfriend.com and they have a bunch of different guages, which I assume has to do with thickness. What the hell should i get? I have an epiphone explorer, play mostly in standard tuning, and play mostly metal and rock.

Thank to anybody that helps.
well you probably have 9s on ur guitar right now.
how are you feeling with them?
Do they feel to flimsy?
i'd recomend goin to 10s, they sound better than 9s.
but it depends also how strong your hands are.
if you have weaker hands you might want to stick with 9s.
if you go to 11s you'll have to adjust your rod.

and the higher the gauge, the heavier the string
The thicker the string, the tighter it will be. Thicker strings = better for drop tuning as they retain the tension better. Although 9 guage are good for thrash metal as they sound brighter than thicker strings.
if you stay in E allot you can probably be fine with a 9 gage,but if you tune low 11 gages work good,unless your like me i use any were from 11-15
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In my opinion, 11 gauge has a thicker warmer tone, and does better in drop tunings.

9s just so sound to thin for me.
bigger (fatter) ones have warmer tones but bend less, thinner ones have sharper tones, easier to bend but break more often, i reccomnd 9's or 10's
If it's any help i use ernie ball skinny tops heavy bottoms, i can drop tune and still bend easily enough